AWB, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) and Syngenta today announced that they have signed an agreement to reshape and enhance Graingene, the Australian national crop genetics research consortium. Under this agreement, Syngenta joins the three original consortium members; bringing global presence, and marketing and technology expertise.
With the support of Syngenta’s technology, Graingene will pursue five major research programmes of interest to Australian agriculture. These will aim to improve the yield and value of the wheat crop through stress resistance, pest and disease resistance, grain quality, wheat genomics technologies, and trait development. Established in 1999, Graingene has already developed a strong strategic position in new technologies, particularly in value added traits in wheat. Graingene has proven its ability to deliver top quality research with the recent commercial release of the drought tolerant wheat variety ‘Drysdale’.
LongReach Plant Breeders, the Australian national wheat breeding joint venture formed by AWB Ltd and Syngenta in 2002, will have the first option to develop and commercialise resulting traits and technology for Australian cereals. Syngenta will have the first option to develop and commercialise in other crops and countries, generating value to Graingene for its intellectual property.
"With Syngenta’s collaboration, Graingene will be even better placed to undertake leading wheat genetic research to deliver practical and commercial products for wheat growers, manufacturers and consumers even faster," said John Lovett, Chairman of the Board of Graingene and Managing Director of the GRDC.
Peter Gerner, Managing Director of Syngenta Seeds in Oceania, said it is a privilege to join three of Australia’s leading agricultural organisations in this strategic alliance. "Joining Graingene will allow Syngenta to contribute technology and tools from its global research investment to develop innovative products of value to Australian wheat growers and to the downstream grain processing industry," said Mr Gerner.
Marcus Kennedy, AWB Group General Manager Grain Technology said that bringing Syngenta into Graingene as a partner will help Graingene to develop and commercialise novel products for Australian wheat growers faster and more effectively, meeting the needs of our customers in global markets. "AWB’s experience in the domestic and global grain marketing and in end-user needs, provides Graingene with crucial expertise in the cereals industry spanning the complete chain from breeding to bakery," said Mr Kennedy.
"We are looking forward to working with Syngenta’s researchers," said Jim Peacock, Chief of CSIRO Plant Industry. “CSIRO and Syngenta are both strongly committed to research in cereals. Access to Syngenta’s genomic tools and intellectual property will complement Graingene’s ability to deliver value added products in Australian cereals," said Dr Peacock.
AWB Limited (formerly the Australian Wheat Board) is an Australian publicly listed grain marketing company with interests in grain pools, grain trading, seed commercialisation, storage and handling, grain transport, finance, risk management, grain research and development and food technology. The company, through its subsidiary AWB (International) Limited, is responsible for the export of Australia’s wheat crop through the Single Desk selling system. Further information is available at www.awb.com.au
CSIRO Plant Industry (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is Australia’s leading plant research organisation that applies strategic research in the plant sciences to promote profitable and sustainable agri-food, fibre and horticultural industries, develop novel plant products and improve natural resource management. Further information is available at www.csiro.au/plantindustry.
On behalf of its stakeholders, Australia’s grain growers and the Commonwealth Government, the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) invests in research and development for 25 grain crops. The GRDC’s budget of more than $100 million per annum makes it the largest single investor in Australian grains research. Further information is available at www.grdc.com.au.
Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness. The company is a leader in crop protection and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2002 were approximately US $6.2 billion. Syngenta employs some 20,000 people in over 90 countries. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in London (SYA), New York (SYT) and Stockholm (SYN). Further information is available at www.syngenta.com.
For media assistance contact: Peter McBride, National Media Manager, AWB Ltd. +61 33 9209 2714 or +61 417 662 451 email@example.com
For more information contact:
Lindsay Adler, CSIRO: + 61 2 6246 5195, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Lovett, GRDC: + 61 2 6272 5525, email@example.com
Peter Gerner, Syngenta: +61 3 97 06 3033, firstname.lastname@example.org